Staff Recommendations

A listing of staff proclivities, recommended by both past and present bookstore and publishing employees. Check back for new recommendations each month as we bring you the best of what we're reading or have read. Browse by title, author or staff member!



  Andy
  |  Caitlyn
  |  Cassie
  |  Chris
  |  Don
  |  Elaine
  |  Erin
  |  Garrett
  |  Greg
  |  Ivy
  |  Jared
  |  Joey
  |  Lawrence
  |  Linda
  |  Michael
  |  Nancy
  |  Paul
  |  Peter
  |  Ryan
  |  Scott
  |  Stacey
  |  Tân
  |  Vanessa

   
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    sort list by title | author | publication date


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Dear Committee Members
A Novel
Julie Schumacher
Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters, while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remodeled offices.
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Astral Weeks
A Secret History of 1968
Ryan Walsh
A fascinating exploration of the strange portal world that was Boston's counterculture in 1968, loosely centered around Van Morrison's recording of Astral Weeks there. The frightening Mel Lyman cult, oddball forgotten Psych bands, James Brown and the Velvet Underground all make guest appearances, and it’s riveting. —Recommended by Michael
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Alienation and Freedom
Frantz Fanon
A fascinating array of uncollected (and several previously lost) essays by the great Pan-African philosopher and post-colonial theorist. This tome gives us a deeper and more personal portrait of the man himself, and his essays on racism, anti-imperialism and the psychology of fascism remain deeply relevant today.—Recommended by Michael
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The Mars Room
Rachel Kushner
Stunning and unsentimental, The Mars Room demonstrates new levels of mastery and depth in Kushner's work. It is audacious and tragic, propulsive and yet beautifully refined. —Recommended by Vanessa & Paul
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Happiness
A Novel
Aminatta Forna
Forna asks us to consider the interconnectedness of lives, our co-existence with one another and all living creatures, and the true nature of happiness. —Recommended by Paul
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Motherhood
Sheila Heti
—Recommended by Cassie
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Heads of the Colored People
Stories
Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Calling to mind the best works of Paul Beatty and Junot Díaz, this collection of moving, timely, and darkly funny stories examines the concept of black identity in this so-called post-racial era. —Recommended by Paul
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A Lucky Man
Stories
Jamel Brinkley
Jamel Brinkley's stories, in a debut that announces the arrival of a significant new voice, reflect the tenderness and vulnerability of black men and boys whose hopes sometimes betray them, especially in a world shaped by race, gender, and class―where luck may be the greatest fiction of all. —Recommended by Andy
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Blue Self-Portrait
Noémi Lefebvre
This book is a merry-go-round of memory rehashing, a dizzy spell cast by an unshakeable narrator, and oh so French. —Recommended by Cassie
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Packing My Library
An Elegy and Ten Digressions
Alberto Manguel
A wonderfully digressive little volume about our complex relationship with our books and being an incurable bibliophile. The perfect antidote to Walter Benjamin's classic essay, Unpacking My Library. —Recommended by Michael
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Black Swans
Stories
Eve Babitz
"He was not remote, elevated, or windy enough for me; by God, I liked my men humiliating or at least impossible to get to..." Eve Babitz is full of such delights. Come for the gossip, stay for the sentences. —Recommended by Vanessa & Cassie
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America is Not the Heart
A Novel
Elaine Castillo
An increasingly relevant story told with startling lucidity, humor, and an uncanny ear for the intimacies and shorthand of family ritual, a sprawling, soulful debut about three generations of women in one family struggling to balance the promise of the American dream and the unshakeable grip of history. —Recommended by Paul
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The Changeling
Victor LaValle
When Apollo Kagwa's father disappeared, all he left his son were strange recurring dreams and a box of books stamped with the word IMPROBABILIA. Now Apollo is a father himself—and as he and his wife, Emma, are settling into their new lives as parents, exhaustion and anxiety start to take their toll.
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The Idiot
Elif Batuman
The year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard. She signs up for classes in subjects she has never heard of, befriends her charismatic and worldly Serbian classmate, Svetlana, and, almost by accident, begins corresponding with Ivan, an older mathematics student from Hungary.

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